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Another Tool in the Asthma Toolbox

Scores of people have asthma which often requires multiple medications. It can be a debilitating disease that requires constant vigilance. You can breathe easy if you treat the condition appropriately. Most people get it at a very young age and go through phases to control it and make sure it doesn’t grow worse. There are many remedies, even some holistic, but there is also another tool in the asthma toolbox: a pulse oximeter. It is affordable and accurate so why not add it to your arsenal if you suffer from asthma as I do. Technology just keeps getting better in all realms of medical life. Beyond that athletes and pilots use them to obtain quick and accurate oxygen saturation readings.

I use a peak flow meter as a rule, and have for a long time, but have added this new device to keep better tabs on my oxygen levels, particularly after a particularly bad asthma attack. I want to know what is going on at all times, what causes it, and what cures I can undertake. I am responsible for my own health. I came to that conclusion as a child. If you haven’t heard of a pulse oximeter, here’s the news. It is a lightweight, portable device used for measuring both pulse rate and SpO2 level. It isn’t rocket science. You simply place your finger inside the antimicrobial vinyl sensor and have these vital measurements instantly displayed on a vibrant LED screen. It features a battery-saving automatic power off function and an irregular heartbeat alarm notification. The batteries give you thirty hours of continuous monitoring so you never have to worry about them dying out.

This mini mechanical marvel works well once you figure out how to use it. Instructions are very limited on how to change settings so you have to pay attention. You have to hold down the single button to access the menu and then click to go through the various menu items. Once the item is selected, you hold down the button to change the setting. You will have to go through the full range of settings to get to the value you want. I hope this complication will not deter people from using it. It hasn’t bothered me.

A possible problem: if you push your finger all the way in, as instructed, the sensors may not be aligned with your finger nail. I look at the whitish pad on the bottom and place my finger nail above that. I have had my oxygen check by a lot of oximeters in the past two months, and I push my finger in to the stop on all of them except this one. Does that make it better?

Nonetheless, I have checked the unit against a very expensive unit in my doctor’s office and get virtually the same readings. So what more do I need to know. I recommend this item if you want an accurate reading and want something new in your arsenal of asthma tools.